Written by John Edward Betancourt
There are many reasons why The Walking Dead has been referred to as the best show on television, and every last one of those reasons were on display last night. In fact this one will go down as one of the finest episodes of the show in its short history. What made it so great? Well let's get right to it as Daniel and I discuss the incredible piece of work that was "Clear".
The Good: So many words come to mind when I reflect on this particular episode. Devastating, heartbreaking, incredible and hopeful. A return home for Rick Grimes in an effort to gather weapons and ammo for the upcoming war with Woodbury would seem like the premise for a boring episode, instead we got the biggest surprise of the season. But more on that later, instead let's start off with the bold decision to only focus on only three characters this week; Rick, Carl and Michonne.
It's the second time this season we have seen most of the cast left behind and just like last time with Woodbury, it worked quite well. There were some great father and son moments that I think the show certainly needed but at long last, Michonne finally did more on the show than just scowl and growl. We now have better insight as to what kind of person she is, and while it was obvious that she had trust issues, her being isolated from good people for so long has clearly had a major effect on her. Her time with Rick's group is quickly paying off, and I like where her character is headed.
I also loved Carl's reasons for coming home with Rick. His mad dash for the last picture of his mother spoke volumes as to how Carl sees this world. For one his thought that Judith a.k.a. "Lil' Asskicker" will survive long enough to see the picture of Lori is the most hopeful moment the show has given us to date. Carl clearly believes there will be a day where the world is once again free of walking corpses, and that his little sister will grow up in it.
But the centerpiece of "Clear" was the surprise guest star appearance of Lennie James, reprising his role as Morgan. We all wondered what happened to Morgan and his son Duane after season one and unfortunately last night, we found out. Duane died at the hands of his reanimated mother long after Rick had gone, and Morgan flat out lost his mind. It was a powerful performance on Lennie James' part and I will not lie to you, it left me in tears. In the back of my mind, I expected Morgan and Duane to reappear somewhere down the line, still alive and kicking and happy to see Rick. Instead Morgan was a destroyed man, unwilling to die of his own accord but unhappy to go on. Perhaps the most telling line of the night, was when Morgan told Rick that the good people will keep on dying while the weak ones like him had inherited the earth.
Yet despite the weight of this, yet again there was hope, mostly for Rick. I got the feeling that this might be Rick's wake up call. That if he continues to let the guilt revolving around those he has lost grow, he too may end up like Morgan. Robert Kirkman has said it before that the show's title refers not to the corpses that feed, but to the characters, and if you ever had any doubt that the humans were the walking dead in this show, just go back in and remember that image of Morgan, working hard to unload a gurney full of his future.
The Bad: There are no complaints from me this time around. But as always, I feel compelled to put something in this part of the review. So I guess the only bad thing last night, was Michonne's taste in trinkets. That rainbow cat was as ugly as sin.
The Verdict: I've said it before and I will say again, this episode was world class. While it only had a few minutes of action in this episode, I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. I expect the same quality next week when at long last, Rick Grimes finally meets Philip "The Governor" Blake face to face.